Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TORN FROM NORMAL, the official trailer!

If you haven't heard, the Torn from Normal trailer is finally available for you to watch. The crew and I would love to hear your opinion. Click this link and you will see Andy Riley in action. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klx9DEH6JYY

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guest blog by director Mike Diller

 My name is Mike Diller, Senior Producer at Crewstone  Technologies/Cynergy Media Group. 

 What an experience. Just wrapped one of the coolest shoots I’ve ever worked on. Great story from a great writer, Martin Bartloff. We produced a book trailer for his book, Torn from Normal. We approached the project very ambitiously. This isn’t your typical book trailer. Our goal was to make it look like a movie trailer. We shot 1080/24p HD video, from a script that I adapted from excerpts of Martin’s novel. Collaborating with Martin was awesome. He has such a visual way of story telling, and working with him to adapt his story was so easy to see. But pulling all the gear together to bring it to life in a way that would live up to Martin’s vision was a challenge. We brought lights and dolly’s and hostess trays. We brought on an awesome director of Photographer, Phil Wright, who really can get the most out of the Panasonic Varicam 3700 that we would shoot with.
First day, we shot the cemetery scenes. The first was the funeral of Andy’s father. Andy is the main character in Martin’s book and his life is beset with tragedies from an early age. He looses his father tragically when he is just 11 years old.  
We used a young local actor, Blake Muller, to portray the 11-year-old Andy. He was really good working with another talented local actress Brenda McCullen, (Right photo) portraying Andy’s mom. We also were honored to have Joseph Filipowski, fresh from his work in Lincoln, play the part of the Reverend, officiating the ceremony. The scene looked gorgeous. It was a beautiful spring day, and Phil’s photography really captured the
Second scene of the day was the scene in which 17 year old Andy, completely brought to life by Winston Walters, (Left photo, who is currently in preproduction, prepping for season 2 of Mudcats, now on NatGeo) lies in the cemetery contemplating his existence. We used a forklift to get this shot. The final shot of the day, which we shot at dusk, had Andy lying in the grass as his friends Marvin and Danny drive up, hoping to reach him in time. Really good first day!! (Photo below of Winston Walters and art designer Georgia Menides)
Day 2 – Chaos.
Early call time. 5:30am. Actors late. City street supposed to be closed. It’s not. We’re shooting a rainy scene, and the sun is coming up. Gotta improvise, quick. We move, to a shady section of secluded roadway a couple of blocks from where we were originally supposed to shoot. Lots of tall trees on either side of the road, which would keep the sunlight off of the set for as long as possible. First actor shows, we begin shooting. Using a generator, a water pump and 100 feet of hose, we are making this lovely spring morning look like a cold torrential rainstorm. It works great, shooting the close-up of Andy. But as the rest of the actors show and we try to shoot the part of the scene where Andy meets Sarah along with her friends, as they offer him a ride in their minivan, we are fighting the sun. Moving constantly trying to find shade. And it seems like once we find some, by the time we set up and start shooting, more sun. We get what we can and plan to shoot inserts, at a later time. But for now, we have to move on. Lots still to shoot, to make our day.
Rest of the day included a scene outside of Martin’s house, the bowling scene and the truck yard scene. After that, we took a small crew to the Virginia Train Museum in Portsmouth, where they have a vintage train. Not exactly Amtrak, but the owers where very gracious to let us shoot there. Long long day. I went home after that, and started to work on planning for Sunday. I fell asleep about 8pm. Woke up at six the next morning, and considered going to play in my 8am soccer game. Then I fell back asleep, to get as much sleep as I could before another challenging shooting day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Friend of Quake Donates Royalties to D.M. Anderson and Family

Martin Bartloff, author of Torn From Normal, a compelling young adult novel, has pledged his next royalty check and all royalties between now and Christmas to help Dave Anderson, the author of Killer Cows who is in the ICU with an infection in his heart.

All of us at Quake thank Martin for his generous offer and hope many of our readers will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the Anderson family. Give Torn From Normal as a gift or purchase a copy for yourself by clicking here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A letter from a prison inmate

Dear Martin,

How are you and the rest of the family? Good I hope!
I have to say even though you just sent a book, it felt like when I was reading it, like talking to you—listening to a story from you. I truly thank you for thinking of me.

Torn from normal was great. It was better than great. It came alive and so sad. I’m grateful to be where I am today. I could have had it worse than I’ve had it. To hear Andy’s life tragedy makes me think life is too short to spend it away from family.

I have a son who loves me to death and it’s like why did I make the decision that I’ve made to be here, not be with him as he is growing up. It got me thinking, that I’ve got to be a part of that boy’s life, and not be dead to him, being in here. But anyways, great story, really. The best one I’ve read being locked up I will say.

So I just wanted to know, was that a true story or did you make it up? Because it felt like it could have happened, but I don’t remember you ever saying anything about that before. And even though it’s so sad, it made me feel like you brought home, away from home, to me. Thank you!!!!

Yours truly ……

P.S, is there gonna be another book? Thank you again!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Glen Ellyn BookFest 2010

Mere days and I'll be on my way to Glen Ellyn, Chicago. The Glen Ellyn BookFest will be my first official, public appearance as the author of Torn From Normal. Preparations for my appearance in Glen Ellyn, has been ongoing for nearly one year now. Special thanks to Rosemary, from Bundles of Books & Gifts

I'm very excited to have Ophelia Julien (Echelon Press) to my side in Glen Ellyn. Present with a newly designed cover art of her proclaimed novel Saving Jake, Ophelia takes another running start, concurring the hearts of readers all ages.

We are all very excited to meet you in downtown Glen Ellyn June 19th. It will be a pleasure to speak with readers all ages and sign your personal copies of Torn From Normal.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ryan Kelley and Torn From Normal

So if you're all scroll through my older posts, you will find Ophelia Julian guest blogging about me, Ryan Kelley, and of course Torn From Normal. My debut YA novel.

In the photo you see Ryan Kelley holding two copies of Torn From Normal.

Stay tuned as there is more, much more to come.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mountain View, California??

No I'm not visiting California, at least not yet :-) What drives me crazy and I have to know, according to my sitemeter, every other day or so, somebody with the "Mountain View, California" location visits my blog. Whoever you are, you've been a loyal visitor and it kills me not knowing who you are. Comment or send me an email at bnzmn600@aol.com would you? The least I can do is send you a free copy of Torn From Normal if you don't already have one.

Okay, with that out of the way I can move on and apologize for not updating my blog regularly. Among skiing a lot, I've been super busy at my shop. While Torn From Normal has been selling itself, I could have, and need to do a lot more to keep spiking sales.

I like to thank all my friends and everybody else for purchasing and reading Torn From Normal.

The book trailer is still very much part of my plan for 2010. I'm trying to work out a deal with someone who would be very helpful for the trailer, but, Hollywood moves slow and I need to be patient, (chewing nails..Argh)

After two months of publication, I'm more eager today, to bring you Torn From Normal on screen, and I'm working on that as well. Very hard you should know.